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N.L. President: Balk Rule “Will Continue To Be Enforced”

Apr. 23, 1963 - Warren Giles, president of the National League, said today the balk rule “will continue to be enforced” despite protests from several managers. Johnny Keane (right), St. Louis Cardinal skipper, said today: “If the umpires keep calling the balk rule the way they have been, it will decide the National League pennant race.” Giles responded, “The balk rule won’t decide the pennant any more than any other rule. It is being enforced just as it is written in the book. No balks are being called that are not balks.” Houston Colt pitchers, who had only five balks called against them all last year, already have been charged with ten this season. In a telegram to Giles, Houston general manager Paul Richards said: “The balk call had better return to some sensible basis before baseball and the National League become a complete joke. How long is this comic opera going to continue?” There are 13 ways in which a pitcher can commit a balk under rule 8.05, but the one that is responsible for all the controversy reads: “If there is a runner or runners, it is a balk when the pitcher delivers the pitch from set position without coming to a stop of one full second.”


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